UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Research Data Preservation in Canada : A White Paper Qasim, Umar; Davis, Corey; Garnett, Alex; Marks, Steve; Moosberger, Michael


This paper provides a framework within which digital preservation is defined, and provides a set of guiding principles that reflect the values and commitments of organizations and communities currently involved in this area of work. Based on this foundation, a federated approach to research data preservation in Canada is proposed, which would build on Portage’s ongoing efforts to build networks of expertise and communities of practice across the country. Using the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model as a guide, it is recommended that Portage support the development of a distributed coordinated network of archives, collectively referred to as “Preservation Service Providers” (PSPs), in order to meet the data management needs of Canadian researchers. The model proposed would disaggregate six OAIS functions into three areas: Repository Services, which would handle the Ingest, Access and Data Management functions of the OAIS model. This could include the two repository technologies currently supported by Portage, the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) and Dataverse, as well as any number of domain and institutional repositories based in Canada. Preservation Services, which would handle the Archival Storage functions within the OAIS model and which could be undertaken as through a coordinated network of digital preservation service providers (PSPs). Planning and Monitoring, in which Portage would be responsible for Administrative functions, and where Preservation Planning responsibilities would be shared between Portage and the PSPs. Next steps proposed for the Portage Network to achieve this vision of a federated digital preservation network include: ● Building a common understanding of basic digital preservation requirements in order to determine the core attributes of a sustainable and distributed digital preservation infrastructure for research data in Canada. ● Cultivating and nourishing partnerships with national and regional stakeholders to align existing and emerging services, coordinate communications, outreach and advocacy, and explore collaborative funding opportunities. ● Continuing to articulate a clear and unified message on all issues related to the development of sustainable national research data preservation infrastructure. ● Defining core competencies in support of training for those responsible for research data and digital preservation activities in their respective institutions and organizations.

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